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FDA warns some antibiotics can cause fatal heart damage – AOL


Certain antibiotics can cause painful and sometimes fatal damage to the body’s main artery, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics might raise the risk of an aortic dissection, and people who are already at risk should be cautious about taking those antibiotics, the FDA said.

“A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta. These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death,” the FDA said in a statement.

“Fluoroquinolones should not be used in patients at increased risk unless there are no other treatment options available. People at increased risk include those with a history of blockages or aneurysms (abnormal bulges) of the aorta or other blood vessels, high blood pressure, certain genetic disorders that involve blood vessel changes, and the elderly.”

The FDA said the new risk guidance will be added to the labels and prescribing information of fluoroquinolone drugs. The agency has already warned that the powerful drugs should only be used when necessary because they can cause other side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system.

“Health care professionals should avoid prescribing fluoroquinolone antibiotics to patients who have an aortic aneurysm or are at risk for an aortic aneurysm, such as patients with peripheral atherosclerotic vascular diseases, hypertension, certain genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and elderly patients. Prescribe fluoroquinolones to these patients only when no other treatment options are available,” the FDA said.

Patients should call 911 or get to an emergency room if they feel symptoms of an aortic dissection, which include sudden, severe, and constant pain in the stomach, chest or back, the FDA said.

People who have high blood pressure, who know they have an aneurysm — a thinning of the artery walls — or heart disease should tell their doctors before taking antibiotics.

High blood pressure is the main cause of aortic dissections, which involves the inner layer of the wall or the aorta tearing away from the middle wall.

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Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

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In this undated photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one form of CRE bacteria, sometimes called nightmare bacteria. CRE bacteria is blamed for 600 deaths each year, and can withstand treatment from virtually every type of antibiotic. (Photo via CDC)

Enterococcus, Sem, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci, Vre, Common Infections Caused By Enterococci Are Urinary Tract Infections And Wound Infections. (Photo By BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

Scanning Electron Micrograph of Burkholderia cepacia. (Photo by: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images)

Methicillin Resistant Golden Staph Staphylococcus Aureus Mrsa, Scanning Electron Micrograph Colorized Sem, X 9560, The Line Represents Two Microns. These Bacteria Are Gram Positive Cocci And Facultative Anaerobes That Typically Gather In Clusters, As We See It Here. Golden Staph Is Responsible For Food Poisoning, Cutaneous Infections, Pneumonia, Toxic Shock Syndrome, . . . The Mrsa Is One Of The Most Frequent Multiresistant Bacterial Strains In Healthcare Facilities Hospital Acquired Infections. Golden Staph Staphylococcus Aureus > Staphylococcus > Staphylococcaceae > Bacillales > Firmicutes > Bacterium. This 2005 Scanning Electron Micrograph Sem Depicted Numerous Clumps Of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria, Commonly Referred To By The Acronym, Mrsa; Magnified 9560X. Recently Recognized Outbreaks, Or Clusters Of Mrsa In Community Settings Have Been Associated With Strains That Have Some Unique Microbiologic And Genetic Properties, Compared With The Traditional Hospital Based Mrsa Strains, Which Suggests Some Biologic Properties, E. G. , Virulence Factors Like Toxins, May Allow The Community Strains To Spread More Easily, Or Cause More Skin Disease. A Common Strain Named Usa300 0114 Has Caused Many Such Outbreaks In The United States. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infections, E. G. , Bloodstream, Pneumonia, Bone Infections, Occur Most Frequently Among Persons In Hospitals And Healthcare Facilities, Including Nursing Homes, And Dialysis Centers. Those Who Acquire A Mrsa Infection Usually Have A Weakened Immune System, However, The Manifestation Of Mrsa Infections That Are Acquired By Otherwise Healthy Individuals, Who Have Not Been Recently Hospitalized, Or Had A Medical Procedure Such As Dialysis, Or Surgery, First Began To Emerged In The Mid To Late 1990’s. These Infections In The Community Are Usually Manifested As Minor Skin Infectio (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Staphylococcus Aureus Sem, Resistant to Antibiotics Including Methicillin And Other More Common Antibiotics Such As Oxacillin, Penicillin And Amoxicillin, While 25 To 30 percent Of Population Is Colonized With Staph, Approximately 1 percent Is Colonized With Mrsa. (Photo By BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

Methicillin Resistant Golden Staph Staphylococcus Aureus Mrsa, Scanning Electron Micrograph Colorized Sem, X 9560, The Line Represents Two Microns. These Bacteria Are Gram Positive Cocci And Facultative Anaerobes That Typically Gather In Clusters, As We See It Here. Golden Staph Is Responsible For Food Poisoning, Cutaneous Infections, Pneumonia, Toxic Shock Syndrome, . . . The Mrsa Is One Of The Most Frequent Multiresistant Bacterial Strains In Healthcare Facilities Hospital Acquired Infections. Golden Staph Staphylococcus Aureus > Staphylococcus > Staphylococcaceae > Bacillales > Firmicutes > Bacterium. This 2005 Scanning Electron Micrograph Sem Depicted Numerous Clumps Of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria, Commonly Referred To By The Acronym, Mrsa; Magnified 9560X. Recently Recognized Outbreaks, Or Clusters Of Mrsa In Community Settings Have Been Associated With Strains That Have Some Unique Microbiologic And Genetic Properties, Compared With The Traditional Hospital Based Mrsa Strains, Which Suggests Some Biologic Properties, E. G. , Virulence Factors Like Toxins, May Allow The Community Strains To Spread More Easily, Or Cause More Skin Disease. A Common Strain Named Usa300 0114 Has Caused Many Such Outbreaks In The United States. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infections, E. G. , Bloodstream, Pneumonia, Bone Infections, Occur Most Frequently Among Persons In Hospitals And Healthcare Facilities, Including Nursing Homes, And Dialysis Centers. Those Who Acquire A Mrsa Infection Usually Have A Weakened Immune System, However, The Manifestation Of Mrsa Infections That Are Acquired By Otherwise Healthy Individuals, Who Have Not Been Recently Hospitalized, Or Had A Medical Procedure Such As Dialysis, Or Surgery, First Began To Emerged In The Mid To Late 1990’s. These Infections In The Community Are Usually Manifested As Minor Skin Infectio (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Mrsa Bacteria. This Scanning Electron Micrograph Depicts A Grouping Of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Mrsa Bacteria. These S. Aureus Bacteria Are Methicillin Resistant, And Are From One Of The First Isolates In The U. S. That Showed Increased Resistance To Vancomycin As Well. Note The Increase In Cell Wall Material Seen As Clumps On The OrganismsÂ’ Surface. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Antibiotic drugs being tested to see how resistant they are to bacteria

BOSTON – APRIL 8: A scientist uses a 96-well plate to test different concentrations of nano particle treatment for antibiotic resistant bacteria inside the Egan Research Center at Northeastern University in Boston on April 8, 2014. The stronger the glow, the stronger the bacteria are. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)




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Fluoroquinolones are very commonly used antibiotics. They include: ciprofloxacin, also known as Cipro; levofloxacin, or Levaquin; gemifloxacin, or Factive; and moxifloxacin, or Avelox.

They are widely prescribed to treat upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.

“Be aware that symptoms of an aortic aneurysm often do not show up until the aneurysm becomes large or bursts, so report any unusual side effects from taking fluoroquinolones to your health care professional immediately,” the FDA said.

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